Scout now sees White Sox as potential .500 team
BY DARYL VAN SCHOUWEN Staff Reporter April 8, 2014 11:14PM
Updated: April 9, 2014 12:25AM
DENVER — It’s early, and while you’d have to dig deep to find an expert who views the White Sox as a playoff contender, at least one veteran scout who has watched them in the opening days of the season has walked away somewhat impressed.
‘‘I tell you what, I think they’re better than I originally thought they would be,’’ the scout said Tuesday. ‘‘With young players, there will be a lot of inconsistency. You can’t get too high or too low on them — you have to let them play.’’
Even after losing 99 games last year, it’s not out of the question for the Sox to flirt with the .500 mark, the scout said.
‘‘The best thing I’ve seen from the White Sox is they’re playing hard,’’ he said. ‘‘They’re playing the game the right way. There’s more hustle. There’s a good chemistry right now, and there is potential there with their bullpen guys. The starters have potential, but all in all, young players take time.
‘‘I think they’ll be a much better team in the second half. They’re all trying to earn their stripes, and in the second half they’ll learn from their mistakes and play better.’’
While agreeing that improvement should be expected as the season evolves, bench coach Mark Parent cautioned that players such as Adam Eaton, Avisail Garcia and Jose Abreu will be dealing with the rigors of a 162-game major-league schedule for the first time, so lots of unknowns are at work. Regardless, this team figures to be considerably more watchable than the 2013 team.
No rest for Abreu
Abreu has played every day and, while he’s managing a sore left ankle, has no desire to take days off.
‘‘He wants to play,’’ manager Robin Ventura said. ‘‘He’s a mature kid — he’s not 19. He’s willing to go out there and play.’’
Gillaspie is ‘legit’
Ventura likes the simple approach of left-handed-hitting Conor Gillaspie, who entered Tuesday batting .389, enough to bat him fifth against Colorado Rockies lefty Franklin Morales. Gillaspie is not a home-run hitter but batted fourth Monday against right-hander Jordan Lyles.
‘‘He’s a good hitter. He’s legit,’’ Ventura said.